As a small city with an extensive network of buses and cycle routes, travelling in and around Cambridge can be cheap and easy, and with its two rail stations, travelling to other parts of the UK from Cambridge can be simple too. On this page, find out more about your transport options for travelling around Cambridge and to other places in the UK.
Cambridge is a small city, with plenty of paths and pedestrian crossings, meaning you can reach most destinations easily and safely on foot. Often you can take a shortcut through one of the many parks and green spaces in and around the city centre - a great way to enjoy your journey in the sunshine.
Known by some people as the city of cycling, Cambridge is full of bicycles. Often the quickest way to get around the city is by bike. So why not live the local experience and hire a bicycle for your time here? It costs approximately £30-£40 for 7 days' hire and is one of the greenest options around. If you're here for a longer course, you could also consider buying a bike as it could work out cheaper, and you can sell it on again at the end. If you want some help finding somewhere to buy a bike, let us know.
Cambridge has an extensive network of buses covering different parts of the city and surrounding villages. Most destinations in and around Cambridge are within a 30-minute bus ride of the city centre using the Cambridge Citi and Park & Ride bus services. You can plan a journey on these services using Stagecoach's online tool. You can buy a weekly ticket for use in Cambridge on the bus - it costs £17 for 7 days. Just say to the driver "A megarider, please."
Travelling by taxi can be particularly helpful at times when buses aren't running, and we'd suggest always having some money on you for a taxi ride in case of emergencies. A 5 mile taxi ride will cost about £13 on average. You can pay with cash, or some taxi companies have an app that allows you to prebook and pay by card.
Another of Cambridge's more famous modes of transport, you could even travel to the nearby village of Grantchester by punt! This popular Cambridge activity costs around £45 for a 6-person self-hire boat for 3 hours.
If you want to make the most of your time here and you're considering some day or weekend trips to other places in the UK, there are lots of options to get you there. Use this overview to get you started.
One of the easiest ways to get to other cities in the UK is by train. With two train stations and on a direct route to London in approx. 1 hour, you have your pick of destinations from Cambridge too.
You can buy your tickets at the station or online. If you buy them at the station, the ticket seller will be able to help you find the best ticket for your journey and needs, and help with any questions you have. If you book online, you can often get some good deals as you can book quite far in advance, even before you travel to Cambridge. One of the best places to find information about train travel in the UK, including times, tickets and travel updates is the National Rail website. For buying tickets online, you could also use the Trainline website for any journey or go straight to the individual train companies' websites - Cambridge is served by Greater Anglia, Great Northern and CrossCountry, depending on destination.
The typical journey times and ticket prices you can expect for some of the popular destinations from Cambridge are:
London - 50m, same day return from £20 (or £27 if including travel on the London Underground)
Ely - 20m, same day return from £3
Edinburgh - 5h 15m (change trains at Peterborough), month return from £161
York - 2h 30m (change trains at Peterborough), month return from £95
Brighton - 2h 30m, same day return from £47
Cromer - 2h 10m (change trains at Norwich), same day return from £21
For help understanding the different types of ticket, take a look at the National Rail Guide to Tickets.
Travelling by bus or coach is a great alternative to trains. The journey time is a bit longer, but tickets are often much cheaper.
The two main providers of intercity bus travel in the UK are National Express & Megabus. You can book tickets directly on their websites, as well as find route maps, timetables and live route information.
Hiring a car gives you a lot of freedom in terms of the location you can visit or the times you travel, as well as giving you a mode of transport when you get there too. There are a few options for the rental company, including Enterprise, Europcar and Herz, or if you want to compare prices across companies, you could try the booking.com car rental search. To rent a Ford Focus or similar for 72 hours you're looking at approximately £120-£160. Why not try a weekend away in the Peak District (less than 3 hours away by car), the Norfolk Coast (2 hours by car) or the Cotswolds (3 hours) to experience the beauty of the Great British countryside. Or for a city break, you could try Leeds (3hrs) or Manchester (3h30m).
For sporty visitors, some of the more local destinations can even be reached by bicycle. For example, you can take a scenic ride along the Guided Busway's cycle path to visit the historic market town of St Ives. The route passes through some lovely local countryside, including a nature reserve, and with cycle parking available at each stop and the option of a bus back if you get tired, this is a great day out.
If you want to explore some other locations in the UK but you're less keen on the 'do-it-yourself' approach, why not book on a tour from Cambridge? Run by experienced professionals with language students in mind, these day trips or weekends away offer great value, with transport included. Take a look at our Excursions page for more information.